So you’ve found your dream home and you’re ready to put down an offer, then you find out it’s in a Homeowners Association Community (HOA), does this put a damper on your plans?
I myself have been in this position before and this is where I’ve had to weigh out the pros and cons of being apart of a HOA community. Making this decision, especially if you are buying a house is one where you’ll want to sit down and carefully make sure it’s in your budget and/or valuable for your time.
Let’s first talk about the PROS…
- Does it snow where you live? We are based in Utah and in the winter, we can wake up to A LOT of snow one morning. Living in a HOA community, it’s so nice to have the walkways shoveled and driveway and roads taken care of in the morning.
- Do you have time to do yard work, or enjoy doing it? If you’ve answered “No” to either one of those questions, you might really love having your yard cared for each week. Maintenance free can be very nice!
- Access to the extra community features. This varies in every HOA community. But usually you’re looking at access to their gym, pool, tennis courts, and the choice to rent out the clubhouse with a extra small fee so you can have a big family party there. If those features are appealing to you, an HOA community might be the right choice for you.
- If you work a lot and pretty much just come home at night to lay your head on your pillow, a HOA community would be a great place for you!
- Community Watch! Need I say more? It’s nice being in a closer community, where people really do look out for you, and your home. They will notice quickly if something seems off.
Now lets talk about the CONS…
- You might really enjoy taking care of your yard, having a garden and doing what you want with your outside decorations. This could even be one of your favorite past times. But most HOA allow a small pot on your deck or patio, if you have one but you are definitely limited when it comes to expressing yourself outside of your house, with your yard and gardens.
- You have no interest in using the “extra features.” Well, living in a HOA community you have a fee you have to pay each month, or every quarter (depending on where you are) and it can feel like you are just flushing that money down the toilet by never using any of the features that you help pay for.
- You can get fined if you didn’t pay attention to everything you signed with the HOA agreement. Leaving your garbage out a day too long, putting your satellite dish in the wrong place, having friends over and they might park in the wrong spot and get a ticket. We have seen that some HOA communities are quick to fine you, but slower to respond back to you regarding the issue. This is not the case in every HOA, but be prepared that even an issue you take to them might take longer to be addressed than you planned.
As the article title states there really are Pros and Cons to living in a HOA community, you just need to decide what’s a good fit for you.